Canned food provides…
• Higher levels of animal protein than dry food
• More nutritional value than dry food
• Moisture that is vital to your pet’s health
Proper nutrition is the foundation of health
What we feed our dogs and cats each day is the most important decision we can make concerning their health and well-being. With the proper nutritional building blocks, the body can make its own repairs when a health problem arises. Canned foods are a good choice for both dogs and cats. Unlike dry foods, canned foods have higher meat content, contain little or no grain, and are cooked more gently than dry foods. Look for canned foods without by-products or grain fillers.
Higher levels of animal protein are ideal for cats and dogs
• “Cats need meat—if they don’t get it they won’t be healthy. There is no such thing as too much protein for a cat.” Dr. Obando, DVM
• As carnivores, dogs and cats have higher protein and fat requirements than humans that are best fulfilled by flesh foods—meat, poultry, fish and eggs. They do not thrive on plant proteins from wheat, corn, or soy, which supply an incomplete spectrum of amino acids.
• Although grain is less bioavailable than animal proteins, it is used in pet foods because it’s less expensive than meat.
• Once the moisture is removed, canned food actually has more protein than dry.
Canned foods retain more nutritional value than dry foods
• “Canned foods retain their nutritional value better than dry foods. The amount of protein and fat in a food before and after it is canned are virtually unchanged. Neither does the canning process affect most vitamins.” Whole Dog Journal 12/04
• The canning process eliminates the need for preservatives. Refrigerate contents after opening and use within a few days.
Moisture is important for pets (especially cats)
• Like fresh foods, canned foods have high moisture content, 78% versus 10% for dry food.
• “Water is an extremely important nutrient with respect to overall health. It is very important for a cat to ingest water with its food, as the cat does not have a very strong thirst drive. This leads to low-level, chronic dehydration when dry food makes up the bulk of the diet. Canned food more closely approximates the natural diet of a carnivore.” Dr. Pierson, DVM
• Originally desert animals, cats are inefficient drinkers, designed by nature to derive moisture from their juicy prey.
• A diet consisting of 50% or more canned food can help prevent life-threatening health issues such as renal (kidney) failure, diabetes, and FUS/FLUTD.
Helpful with weight loss
• Carbohydrates are the main cause of obesity in dogs and cats. Because canned food is much lower in carbs than dry food, it can help an animal lose weight.
• The high moisture content helps animals feel full faster, and more protein keeps them satisfied longer.
Canned food and dental health
• Because it has fewer carbohydrates, canned food is less likely to contribute to dental decay.
• “Carnivores that eat dry food grind it in a way that ends up between their teeth. There it ferments into sugar and acid thereby causing dental problems.” Dr. Greco, DVM
Easier to digest
• Because the grain in dry food is harder for the body to process, canned food is particularly helpful for puppies, kittens and elderly or recovering animals.
• More complete digestion results in less doggy waste and less stool and odor in the litter box.
How to introduce
Introduce canned food slowly, a little at a time, mixed in with or alongside the regular food. Remember to cut back regular food as canned is added.
Tips on switching to canned
• Take away all food the night before and introduce new food to a hungry pet.
• For cats, add tuna water, or a pinch of Cat-Man-Doo (shaved bonito flakes.)
• Add the new food a teaspoon at a time to the old food.
• Warm up the food by adding a splash of warm water.
• A teaspoon of canned pumpkin can be helpful when transitioning foods.